After seeing a gap in the market for women’s intimate care products, Sina Zere, founder of Buff Wax Spot and co-founder of 1’Lux Beauty decided to take matters into her own hands. Her experience in the female self-care space and personal passion for the topic led her to develop and launch Buff Experts.
Buff Experts, a carefully formulated intimate product line, leverages the earth’s most nourishing natural ingredients such as rose oil, yogurt extract, cranberry tinctures, sea buckthorn, cold-pressed carrot seed oil, jojoba seed oil, calendula flower extract, chamomile, cucumber, lavender and marshmallow root into PH balancing products.
The line includes products ranging from a Rose & Yogurt Intimate Cleanser, Carrot & Calendula Intimate Salve, Wipe the Slate Clean Intimate Wipes, Don’t Sweat It Deodorant and specially crafted Needle-Nose Tweezers, perfect for extracting the trickiest in-grown hairs.
HOLR’s Head of Partnerships had the pleasure of chatting with Sina about business, inspiration, and the amazing self-care projects she is working on to help support women.
Were there any particular life experiences that led you toward the path of Health Sciences?
I knew from the age of 10 that I wanted to be a microbiologist. I spent summers in my basement on the computer learning about DNA and T4 bacteriophage from Microsoft Encarta (sorry Wikipedia, but Encarta will always be #1). I was astonished at this world that existed beyond the visible and I was fascinated by the intricacy, cleverness, teamwork, wars, machinery, and industriousness that governs our cellular and molecular level. Science explained why things went wrong and how we could attempt to fix it. It’s my first love and the best, never-ending story in the world. I obtained my B.Sc. in Genetics from McMaster University and my Masters in Biotechnology at the University of Toronto. I went on to work in the life sciences and health sciences arenas for the next seven years before making a complete switch into the beauty industry. Someone once told me I didn’t have good ‘lab hands’ and she was right. I was much better at handling beauty products and services than streak-plating bacterial cultures.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of coaching your clients?
It’s getting to share, and thus normalize experiences most women encounter but are nervous to talk about- weird smells, weird periods, weird feelings down there. There’s a palpable sense of relief and connection when you realize you’re not the only one experiencing something. Once you destigmatize an experience for women then it’s much easier to introduce a solution because you’ve already established that ‘hey, I get you, I’ve been there myself and this is how I got through that.’
In today’s fast-paced climate, self-care is an extremely valuable practice to incorporate into daily life. What are some tips you would give to someone who leads a busy life and has never practiced regular self-care/might be unsure where to start?
Start with your sleep hygiene. Health starts from good, deep, restorative sleep. My favorite sleep aides include a white noise machine (I love this one from Amazon), the Calm app (sleep stories will change your life) and blackout roller shades and curtains. If I find myself still in front of a screen from about 8 PM onward then I’ll wear my blue light filter eyeglasses to reduce digital eye strain and protect my sleep. Oh, and don’t make any important decisions or send emotionally-fraught emails from 11 PM onward because that’s when your ‘monkey brain’ kicks in. Just go to bed.
My best time is in the morning and I try to carve out the first 60min of my day just for myself. No emails, no calls, no screen time. I just make some tea, switch on a lamp with soft lighting and read whatever I want that’s not work-related. It helps with reducing resentment when you slavishly work all day.
Can you tell HOLR’s audience about a few of the workshops you host?
I’d love to! I’m the founder + owner of Buff Wax Spot, Edmonton’s first chain of wax bars specializing in fast, friendly and quick full-body waxing services for women and men. Edmonton is a young and fun entrepreneurial city and we launched an intimate speaker series last year called In The Buff where we share the stories of local womenpreneurs. We dig deep into the speaker’s industry, how they got started, the pain points and challenges and what they see coming in the future. What makes our speaker series different is that it’s highly structured (key for anti-networkers like me), highly engaging with the audience and very intimate; we’re not afraid to ask questions you’d normally never ask a businesswoman. The point is to discover facets of business that are novel and common and to get to know the incredible women who are changing Edmonton’s business landscape.
What inspired you to start Down-There Self Care?
Whew! There is a fire in me to evangelize the way we women are taking care of our lady bits. Drugstore soaps and body washes are just not going to cut it anymore! I’d endured horrific yeast infections for the early part of my 20s and it was a naturopath who opened my eyes to what down-there self-care really means. It starts with a good diet and key to that is minimizing refined sugar. The products we use to wash and moisturize our lady bits can be so detrimental too. Our natural pH levels down there are between 3.5-4.8; most drugstore soaps and body washes have pH levels north of 8. When we don’t have balanced intimate pH levels then we can experience bad odors, excessive discharge, itchiness, and irritation. Creating our Rose & Yogurt Intimate Cleanser and our Carrot & Calendula Intimate Salve was the actualization of a solution to a problem I’d endured for years and one that I don’t want women to go through. Our vaginas are incredibly self-sufficient but I firmly believe that our vulvas (labia) need to be cleaned and moisturized properly. For daily use, our super-gentle Rose & Yogurt Intimate Cleanser respects the pH of your intimate bits with soothing rose and lavender oil, hydrating aloe vera leaf juice and probiotic-rich yogurt extract and has zero artificial fragrance, dyes or other nasties. We get dry skin down there too and our Carrot & Calendula Intimate Salve is perfect because it absorbs right away into the vulva and doesn’t leave an oily residue. It’s enriched with cold-pressed carrot seed oil, sea buckthorn, organic olive oil, coconut and jojoba oil, and beeswax, plus a touch of zinc oxide to form a moisture barrier. It’s free from preservatives as well. For on the go touch-ups I recommend our Wipe The Slate Clean Intimate Wipes. They’re infused with lavender, marshmallow root and aloe for a soft but thorough cleanup. Finally, I have to give a shout-out to our Don’t Sweat It All-Natural Deodorant because it’s an essential grooming product for up-there self-care. We all know we shouldn’t be using antiperspirants with aluminum but those who’ve tried all-natural deodorants that didn’t work need to try this one. Myself and my (very sweaty) husband tested this for months with smooth and hairy pits, on vacay in Mexico, and while working out and it seriously holds up. It’s got detoxing charcoal and magnesium to banish stinky pits and nourishing shea butter and avocado oil to soften dry underarms.